Zimmer L, McDade C, Beyhaghi H, Purser M, Textoris J, Krause A, Blanc E, Pavlov V, Earnshaw S. Cost-effectiveness of blood-based brain biomarkers for screening adults with mild traumatic brain injury in the French healthcare setting. J Neurotrauma. 2023 Apr;40(7-8):706-19. doi: 10.1089/neu.2022.0270

Two blood-based, brain biomarker tests such as the combination of glial fibrillary acidic protein and ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase-L1 (GFAP+UCH-L1) or S100B have potential to reduce the need for head computed tomography (CT) scanning in patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). We assessed the clinical and economic impact of using GFAP+UCH-L1 versus CT scan and GFAP+UCH-L1 versus S100B to screen adults with suspected mTBI presenting to an emergency department (ED). A decision model was developed to estimate costs and health outcomes of GFAP+UCH-L1, CT scan, and S100B associated with these screening protocols. Model parameters were extracted from peer-reviewed articles, clinical guidelines, and expert opinion. Analysis was performed from a French healthcare system perspective (costs in 2020 euros). In the model, patients with a positive biomarker receive a CT scan to confirm the presence of intracranial lesions. Depending on clinical state and biomarker and CT results, patients are discharged immediately, kept for observation in ED, admitted for in-hospital stay and observation, or admitted for surgical management. Incorrect test results may lead to delayed treatment and poor outcomes or overtreatment. GFAP+UCH-L1 use was associated with an overall decrease in CT scans when compared with CT screening or S100B use (323.21 and 46.43 CTs per 1,000 patients, respectively). The use of GFAP+UCH-L1 resulted in modest cost savings when compared with CT scanning and with S100B. In all cases, use of GFAP+UCH-L1 marginally improved quality-adjusted life-years and outcomes. Thus, screening with GFAP+UCH-L1 reduced the need for CT scans when compared with systematic CT scan screening or use of S100B while maintaining similar costs and health outcomes.

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